On Being a Business Savvy Woman
I was raised by my parents to be respectful, kind and compassionate. Naturally these traits have stayed with me through the years, being loyal to a cause and my friends, understanding when someone is in need and diplomatic when I need to be. Over the past few years I have had to learn how to keep a healthy balance between speaking my mind and bottling things up. It's no secret I tend to keep my emotions to myself and my heart very guarded. Nonetheless, ladies, there comes a time in your career when you have to step up and be heard or get trampled and be miserable. Sorry for the language but pretty much:
Ok maybe Kelly Kapoor from The Office isn't exactly the best example of being a business savvy lady, but Mindy Kaling certainly is. TV characters are exactly that: characters of normal people archetypes, worked up to a bit more of an extreme to make for good TV, but as Mindy says:
On Speaking Your Mind at Work
My character is impulsive, opinionated, and outspoken. She gets to do and say things on the show that I wish I could, but don't have the nerve to do. (I think smartly-executed wish-fulfillment is a great form of entertainment.) That comes from a kind of innate confidence that gets her into trouble, but is also very admirable. I hope people watching envy Mindy's confidence.
On Being a Boss
At the risk of sounding like Michael Scott, I think I am a pretty damn good boss. I was a little worried about it at the beginning, because my inclination is to want everyone to like me. That always seems to get me into trouble, because I make promises I can't keep just to please everyone. But now there is simply no time for any of that. Because I am doing so much more on this show than at The Office, I have learned a cheerfully direct way of talking. I'm incredibly impatient, and while that's been a detriment in the past, it's an advantage as a boss, because it keeps things moving quickly. I recommend it to any leader: be impatient. By quickly and nicely shutting down lines of argument, and being decisive, I save the entire production hours and hours of work and money.
On Being a Female Boss
One thing I have noticed — and this is really the first time I've noticed how being a woman has affected my job — is that sometimes, after I've made a decision about something, there's a level of discussion that people think I am willing to entertain that probably wouldn't happen if I were a man. I have learned that when I make a decision, sometimes I just need to leave the room.
I think the last point is something that rings especially true to me and I'm sure to many other women executives around the planet. Often times I have a conversation with someone, whether it's at work, in the elevator, at a store or a restaurant and I find myself thinking, would this person really say that to me if I were a man? Would someone tell me not to get offended or not to take it personally if I were a man? Probably not. Still, I remember something my Dad told me when I was in high school: "mija, you have two strikes against you in the real world: you're a woman and you're Hispanic, so you have to work three times as hard."
It's true. As a woman, you have to shatter the glass ceiling without regret. You have to be strong, savvy and smarter than the rest. And you have to present it in a way that might risk you being called a good variety of names that may or may not start with a B.
This post isn't to say go out and be mean to get things done. Rather, it's to say embrace the hurdles and hoops we have to jump through and rise above and be the bigger person, the better woman. Don't be jaded by the obstacles we face as women at work, but tear them down and be bigger and better than them.